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Old 07-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
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Tofino , British Columbia
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Airstreams for colder /damper climates

hello enthusiasts!

we are interested in purchasing an airstream to use as a rental on our property. we are hoping this will introduce us to the airstream world... then who knows!

we live on the west coast of Vancouver island, BC. I love the old vintage airstreams... but I am concerned about insulation and double paned windows.

any advice on what models and years are considered better for these things?? thanks everyone!

great discussions on these forums, I'm very impressed

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Old 07-07-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums!

Airstreams are all typically insulated about the same...batt installed between the ribs/skins. They are really only 3-season trailers but we have camped in <0-degrees in our '56 for a weekend dry camping. I believe they had double paned windows from '69 & newer, but I'm not sure...someone with a newer trailer can confirm.

One of the main concerns with your question has more to do with saltwater sea spray or mist. Saltwater and aluminum do not play well together over extended periods of time. Not sure which is worse...non-clearcoated vintage trailers or new ones with clear coat (search: filaform corrosion), but either way it's a major maintenance issue.

Not trying to discourage you, just trying to let you know what you are in for.


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Old 07-07-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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thank you Shari, I will look into the different kinds of coating. I was assuming I may need to add a protective coating to help with our west coast weathering? I would appreciate advice from anyone that has dealt with this issue as well

no discouragement! I want the real deal truth about what I would need to plan for! thanks
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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For sure, Airstreams aren't designed for extremes of temperature. The walls are only 1.5-1.75" thick, which doesn't give you much room for insulation, no matter how high-tech you get. The windows bleed heat and cold. My '73 had double paned windows in the front, but the other three sides are single paned. Generally keeping a trailer warm or cold is a matter of brute force, your AC or furnace has to be big enough to overwhelm the forces of nature.

Clear coatings is a topic that is mostly focused on removing it. If you search the forums, you may find a few threads referencing a clear coat guru somewhere on the northern west coast of the US who had a business recoating trailers. Last rumor I heard was that he was looking to retire, though.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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here in Tofino we have really mild weather, very warm winters and cool summers. Just lots of rain! rarely ever to freezing. But can be very damp... so mold is an issue if you don't keep a constant heat through the winter months
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #6
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Have you looked at the Argosy by Airstream? They look identical, except they are painted. I would think it would be better than trying to keep an A$ polished in your kind of weather. Depending on your budget, you could have an Argosy painted silver and it would be easier to keep looking nice.
My wife is Canadian. She lived in Vancouver for 22 years.
I worked there and know how much it rains.
Good Luck in your search.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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although I was initially drawn to the sleek classic look. I must admit, I am an artist and the potential options of a custom paint job intrigue me...

thanks everyone.

does anyone have anything else to share in terms of windows? different airstream models etc?

so appreciative of any advice!
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:25 PM   #8
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An Airstream would be exactly the wrong choice for your use. They are made to travel and the design is compromised in that direction.

For your application, a conventional box trailer or mobile home would be cheaper, roomier, and all around better.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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As a prospective AS owner, I've been searching for people that do rent, to give my wife and I a chance to try before we buy.

There are people doing that in Seattle:

And in the San Juan Islands:

Airstream Camping Rentals on San Juan Island - Lakedale Resort

We probably don't get as much rain in our neck of the woods, since we have the Olympic mountains to shield us a bit, but you may want to contact these folks and see what they have to offer as far as advice.

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